Our Catholic Faith is Interesting in Fullest Sense
By Bishop David J. Malloy
“May you live in interesting times.”  
I have often heard that those words are a translation of a traditional Chinese curse.
Of course, if it is a curse it plays on words.  Interesting times could be something beautiful, or something novel that open new thoughts and horizons that expand our knowledge or fulfill a good and holy desire.
But the sting is that life can become interesting for less noble reasons.  Even challenges, bumps in the road and significant threats could qualify as “interesting.”
Our Catholic faith has the ultimate quality of being interesting for us in the fullest sense.  By knowing of the true God and all of the story of His creation and redemption from sin, we are given to understand the world and our place in it.  How interesting it is to know that life has a purpose given by God’s love.  That purpose invites solid hope for a fuller, better, unending life with God if we are faithful to His will here and now.
With the knowledge of faith, we are able to achieve a certain sense of serenity and purpose in this life.  We are seeking, in Christ, what it is that we have been made for.  All of our sacrifices, joys and pains make sense in that context.
But we are living in interesting times in a dark sense as well.  And don’t we all know it?  There is a hollowing of our souls that is taking place in our society and even in places within the Church Herself.
We are living in the most materialistically opulent society the world has ever known.  But what is the level of temptation that such materialism brings to us, and what is the satisfaction that it fails to provide?  Pope Francis has warned the world that, “The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume.” (Laudato sì, 204).
That emptiness of heart, the hollowing of our souls, is reflected in the exaggerated exaltation of the individual.  As a result, marriage and family, the institutions where sacrifice and the giving of self for others are learned and practiced, are under siege.  Society calls into question the value of the permanent and unbreakable commitment of a man and a woman, with all the associated joys and sacrifices.  Indifference to the poor, to refugees, to the unborn and those close to death are further symptoms.
Even within the Church Herself there are signs of instability.  The German bishops, for example, have announced that in the coming months they will initiate a process they call the “synodal way” which will consider voting to revise Church teaching on matters such as sexual morality, authority in the Church and the priesthood itself.
It is no wonder that the result is a sense of disquiet felt by so many.  Everything seems to change.  Even truth itself seems to vary from day to day.
What then is the answer?  We heard it in the second reading at Mass last Sunday.  In St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy he wrote, “Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it …”.
What we have learned and believed is that God has made us and He loves us.  We have learned and believed that our moral lives must follow His will, not modern temptations to have it all our way, to make things interesting in the way we might like without thinking about what He created us for, and what He created for us.  We have learned and believed that even in the face of trials, God is intimately present to us, helping us at every step.
As members of the Church, we know we find Christ and the truth that He has revealed to us in Her sacraments and her long teaching and tradition.  We know faith is where we find what is joyful and what is worth sacrificing for.
Our Catholic Church is interesting in the fullest and best sense because She leads us home. Even in the midst of the profound challenges like those we are living through in these times,  She remains the only thing that is really interesting enough to cling to.